Add Alternate Text to Images

Alternate text, or "alt text", provide a way for screen-reader programs to "read" non-text information in your document. For example, if you wish include a photograph of a sunset in your document, the image should include an alt-text that states, “Sunset.” Likewise, if you include images of words that are not digitally-readable text (e.g.. a photograph of a stop sign, clipart showing words in thought-bubbles, etc.), the words in these images should also be placed in alt-text.

NOTE: Images or other elements that do not convey meaningful information and are merely decorative should be made hidden from screen reader software. See STEP SEVEN: Tag decorative images for more information.

Tagging an image that conveys meaning

  1. With the Touch Up Reading order tool, lasso the non-text element
  2. Select FIGURE
  3. The element will now show with a large "X" through it. This indicates a non-text element. You will also see "No alternate text exists" as a label.

First tag the element as a figure.

Adding Alternate Text to a non-text element

  1. Place your mouse on the boxed area and right click
  2. Select Edit Alternate Text
  3. In the box the pops up, enter the appropriate description for the element. Your alt-text should state or describe the meaningful information that is in the image. It should not begin with the word "image" or "picture of" (etc.).
  4. Select OK
  5. Your element will now show the alternate text after the "Figure" text
  6. Repeat these steps for each image in your document.

Enter Alt Text from the submenu that appears when you right click

TIP: Think of your alt-text as a form of verbal communication. How would you describe this image or diagram to someone over the phone?

After you have tagged all the non-text elements that convey meaning in your document, continue to Step 7: Tag decorative images

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